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CAUSE OF APRIL 24 DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND GAS LEAK DETERMINED

 CAUSE OF APRIL 24 DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND GAS LEAK DETERMINED
 CLEVELAND, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The East Ohio Gas Company today announced the cause of the April 24 natural gas leak that forced the evacuation of several buildings on Euclid Avenue. Company officials said the leak was caused by a separation at a joint in a section of four-inch high-density, polyethylene plastic pipe in Barnes Court in Downtown Cleveland.
 The process of fusing plastic pipe involves the use of a teflon- coated steel heating plate to join the pipe together. Usually, two pieces of 40-foot plastic pipe are inserted into a fusion machine and separated by the plate, heated to approximately 500 degrees Fahrenheit. As both pieces of pipe begin to soften from the intensity of the heat, the plate is removed and the two pieces of plastic pipe are pushed together to form a fused joint. Typically, the joint produced is the strongest part of the pipe.
 In this case, the materials in the pipe appear to have failed to properly fuse together at the joint. The affected section of pipe was seven years old.
 Within the next couple of months, East Ohio Gas will be replacing the entire natural gas line in Barnes Court with coated steel pipe because there is a leaking steam line adjacent to the gas line that is raising the temperature of the plastic pipe beyond company guidelines. While there are no indications that the leaking steam line caused the joint to fail, the company wants to ensure that it won't be a problem in the future.
 East Ohio Gas began using plastic pipe in the late 1970s and continues to use it extensively throughout its 20-county northeast Ohio service area.
 -0- 5/6/92
 /CONTACT: Tracy Oliver of the East Ohio Gas Company, 216-736-6224, or toll-free in Ohio 800-556-4400/ CO: The East Ohio Gas Company ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU:


CG -- CL010 -- 7097 05/06/92 12:27 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 6, 1992
Words:324
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